24 Things I Learned At 24

24 Things I Learned at 24

This year has just flown by – I can’t believe 25 is here!

I am blessed and truly thankful to see another year! 

Truth be told, I wasn’t as excited for my birthday as I usually would have been. Perhaps it’s just me realizing that I am officially in my mid-twenties (buh-bye parent-covered health insurance). Or maybe the fact that there’s a lot of new things and adventures ahead – being easily overwhelmed is a skill of mine. Or it could just be that where I am, and where I thought I’d be by now, looks a little different than expected. 

I’m ready to embrace this next season of life – maybe with a little trepidation, but also a lot of hopeful expectancy. I love looking back at the year and seeing from how far I’ve come – I took a few cues from my previous birthday entries: 

21 Things I’ve Learned at 21

22 Things I’ve Learned at 22

23 Things I Learned at 23

So, as is tradition – for the 4th year in a row, here are 24 things I’ve learned at 24: 

1. It’s no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. It’s up to you to make your life, as my mom always says. 

2. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I think this relates to my life in a few different ways. There’s the obvious notion that you cannot care for someone else if you are in need of care yourself. Think of that safety video they show on airplanes where they instruct passengers to put the mask on the child after their own is safely secured. You can’t expect someone else to save you from yourself. You need to realize that you are your own responsibility. Take care of yourself and learn to love yourself – it’s not the only way, but it’s the best way. 

3. Life is short. Tell them you love them. 

4. Being friends first is the best way to start any kind of romantic relationship. Don’t jump into it. Take time and care to establish and maintain a good, solid friendship first. 

5. Don’t compromise yourself for anyone

6. When people show you who they really are, believe them. Thanks, Dr. Angelou. 

7. No matter what you do, where you go, who you become – if God is at the center of your life, you’ll be just fine. 

8. Learn to be vulnerable. Let yourself be known. 

9. Find community and stay in it. 

10. It’s okay to not be constantly content in your singleness. I’m human and these are God-given desires and longings. 

11. Sometimes you just have to buy yourself flowers. And chocolate. And, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Oh, and a cute stuffed elephant with hearts on its ears – just because. 

12. If you never say so, they will never know. 

13. Conflict is okay. Learn to handle it. 

14. You are not broken, or defective, or a mistake. You are perfectly imperfect, fearfully and wonderfully made, and designed with intention. 

15. Sometimes, all people need is someone to hear them out. Just listen. 

16. You are capable of much more than I think you realize. Or maybe sometimes, you are afraid to realize your potential. But don’t let that stop you from making a difference. 

17. You can do anything you put your mind to. Go ahead and surprise yourself. 

18. You cannot control everything. Let it go and give it to the Lord. 

19. Stay prayed up, rooted in the Word and suited up in the armor of God. 

20. You are hilarious and kind-hearted. You are a gift to be treasured and held dear. I hope that one day, you will see yourself through the eyes of the ones that love you most, and know this. 

21. Keep writing, even if no one reads. You didn’t start writing for recognition. You started writing out of passion. 

22. Your being different is one of the best things about you. 

23. One day, you will find the right guy and you’ll realize that he’s not perfect. But you’ll love him anyway, because neither are you. 

24. When you’re young, everything feels like it’s the end of the world. But it’s not. It’s just the beginning…or something like that. 

Bonus: Something cool that I also wanted to share, is that this year, God’s taught me that what is dear to my heart, is close to His. There’s no better listener than God, my Father and each and everyday He makes known His abundant love for me. 




Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • Fehintola

    Wonderful thoughts and advice. Happy Birthday Leighann. I hope you have a great day and a beautiful year. Cheers!


    • Leighann


      Thanks so much, Fehintola! I appreciate the love and support – thanks for reading!

  • Corinne Rodrigues

    Happy birthday to you! A wonderful set of lessons. #8 and #9 spoke to me very loudly even though I’m more than double your age! 😉

    • Leighann


      Thank you – it was a wonderful day and I feel like the life lessons I learn each year, I’m always continuously learning them – thank you for taking the time to read, Corinne and for leaving your thoughts!

  • Parul Thakur

    That’s a fabulous post and those lessons are for all of us. Life is to be lived like that. Belated birthday wishes and trust me, those lessons will take you places.
    Leaving you with a link of my 35 lessons – happinessandfood.com/35-life-lessons-35/

    • Leighann


      Thanks for reading Parul – and for the birthday wishes! I am excited for this next chapter in life and to read your life lessons!

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 16 𝑜𝒻 31

Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
2. You are not the only one 
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 13 𝑜𝒻 31

Home. For now anyways—is Georgia. The most asked question I get lately has been “Well? Are you gonna stay out there, or move back to California?” So, to help answer anyone’s burning question about my plans for the future, here it is:

Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s just get this last year down and then talk specifics, shall we? Here’s to one of my last first days of school. 
To my fellow cohorts: May we grow. May we care for ourselves and others a little better each day. May we get up the hills to our classes in one piece #UGA
  • Wait, I can’t believe summer is over and I officially start my last year of my MSW program tomorrow! What is life? Time is flying by, and I’m just trying to soak up every moment ☀️
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 12 𝑜𝒻 31

Sunday morning. 
Mmmm, tacos 🌮 so far, I’m learning to enjoy this new life stage: also known as adulting. I’ll admit, at times it’s a little scary and a whole lot of trial and error, but I know it’s all a part of the plan—even if it sometimes feels like nothing is going according to plan 🤷🏾‍♀️ #adulting am I right? 
Faking it ‘til I make it since ‘92.

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